There are few things that make me more happy in my travel life than getting the emails from Delta that my upgrade has now been confirmed. But now, for many of us, Delta is lying and sending out emails telling this when all they have done is “sidegrade” us to a Comfort Plus or C+ seat.
Now why do I, and so many others, call this a lie and Delta calls this the truth (i.e. an upgrade)? We elites who get it understand that the C+ seat is NO upgrade. It is the EXACT same seat size as the rest of coach or as Delta calls it “Main Cabin”. The ridiculousness of this is clearly talked about in the C+ FAQs page on Delta.com. Take a look:
“Delta Comfort+, Main Cabin, and Basic Economy are three experiences within our Main Cabin.”- Bold Mine
We also clearly know the C+ “experience” is the same experience you get in the rest of coach. Oh sure you get a tiny bit of extra leg room and sometimes recline / pitch. You don’t have to pay for drinks and you get some snacks (sometimes) and free Delta Studio movies but other than that most of it is just more of the same coach experience.
So today I thought I would, in a series of posts throughout the day, look at the complete mess this is going to be. I will break down and look at in each post a topic that will make you scratch your head and reach for a a bottle of pain killers. Keep in mind all of this is completely logical to the mothership folks in ATL as when you only have limited ways to make more and more money you have to work with what you have.
Let’s start with the simple one in this first post today. When you go to buy a ticket, or are on a corporate system, it “should” leave the C+ box unchecked by default and the YES to 1st class upgrades checked by default. For more you have to, either during the booking or after, “Manage” your upgrades if you wish to opt in for a C+ upgrade. I say should because if you are booking ONLY for you, say an award ticket from JFK to LAX or SFO you may, depending on status, auto “upgrade” to C+ (not saying this is a bad thing for this route, just telling you the tech in place at the current time).
Now we already know a number of points that I have blogged about when it comes to these upgrades from Delta. They are:
Again, those are the basics of what we know. Even when a elite is flying alone you may want to choose to opt OUT for this upgrade if for example only middle seats remain and the exit row aisle you have is the choice you prefer (and have selected already). Keep in mind that just because the seat map on Delta.com or the Fly Delta APP shows open C+ seats they may not be available for upgrades. Yes, those seats may be blocked for sale and once you “upgrade” you may find fewer seats than were there before.
Another big issue you want to be super careful with is phone reps. This weekend there was another in the almost endless Saturday schedule changes that can impact the type of aircraft you are on, the partner airline operating the flight, the seat you “were” in and on and on. But phone reps, most times, seem to when they reissue tickets by default “upgrade” you to C+ even when you don’t ask for it. So, make sure if you do not want to get tossed out of your chosen seat you make the rep aware you DO NOT want a C+ seat. Why would you do this? The reasons could be many like traveling with others not in C+ an on and on.
So this is part one in this 16MAY16 series of posts. Next we will be looking what will happen if no space is available at the time of booking for C+ upgrades. What the impact is when you are traveling with lower tier elites or non-elites. What costs could be involved for these upgrades even for elites. The increased risk of SHENA events from gate agents due to C+ upgrades. Onboard issues with C+ seat upgrades. SDC & SDS impact on C+ seats. And a number of others as well including any questions you may ask in the posts as we go along.
Today truly is a red letter day for Delta and I bet you are going to see a week of elite meltdowns like you have never seen before. – René